By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Northborough – At Open Circle Acupuncture & Healing, which recently opened in Northborough, Melissa Stein, clinical director, licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, and Kim Flaherty, the director of business operations, both bring years of experience working in the acupuncture and wellness field to their new practice.
The human body is a miraculous complex system of interconnected organs and meridians through which a vital energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”) flows. But when one of those meridians is stuck or stagnated, it can cause a whole litany of ailments and conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, hormone imbalance, digestive issues and more. Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese practice of inserting needles in specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of Qi, has been proven to help bring relief to many patients who have often not found that with traditional Western medicine.
Modern scientific research has shown that acupuncture promotes the release of endorphins and enkephalins, which are pain-blocking biochemicals. When these hormones are released, blood flow in the body improves carrying with it beneficial nutrients, hormones and oxygen to the tissues and organs.
Open Circle offers a “community-acupuncture” model which Stein and Flaherty said will provide a more affordable treatment option than traditional one-on-one practices. Because of their emphasis on individualized care, each visit will always include a time to check in with the acupuncturist. Over the years, they have seen that although some patients are wary of treatment in a group setting at first, most find that there is a collective benefit in the group setting that enhances their experience and overall results.
During their initial visit, patients meet individually with Stein where she takes a complete medical history and creates a personalized treatment plan. After this intake, Stein will then give each patient their first acupuncture treatment in their warm and relaxing group space. Depending on the condition, the treatment lasts anywhere from 30-50 minutes.
Stein has a degree in psychology from the University of Mass. and graduated with a master’s degree in Acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine at the New England School of Acupuncture in 2006. She has dedicated her career to the field of mind-body medicine and helping her patients realize the importance of that connection.
Flaherty is the practice’s director of business operations but she also brings her own personal testimony to the practice.
“For years I suffered from chronic pain and was so frustrated that no one was listening to me,” she said. “Acupuncture was the first thing that helped. In receiving this treatment over time, it also helped me sleep better and my allergies went away. It really can help you with so many things.”
“I see so many patients who come to me as a last resort,” Stein noted. “They come in feeling frustrated but are then so relieved when they realize that they are starting to feel better after just a few treatments.”
Open Circle will also recommend nutritional supplements and Chinese herbs if needed that are available for purchase at their office. They have two massage therapists on staff and they also offer once monthly educational seminars and workshops at their office.
Open Circle Acupuncture & Healing is located at 411 W. Main St., Suite 2R, Northborough (in the rear of the building). For information call 508-393-1212 or visit www.opencirclehealing.com.